Melanie Reay makes new addition to Sunderland Ladies ahead of Durham Women derby as former Black Cat lands at League One rivals

Sunderland Ladies are preparing for their derby with Durham Women this weekend.
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Melanie Reay’s Black Cats have made a solid start to life back in the Women’s Championship losing just one of their opening five games to start the season.

But Reay’s side face a difficult test on Sunday when they welcome table toppers, and North East rivals, Durham Women to Eppleton Colliery.

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It will be the first time the two sides have met in four years and the first time ever at this level with kick-off at noon on Sunday.

Melanie Reay. Picture by Chris Fryatt.Melanie Reay. Picture by Chris Fryatt.
Melanie Reay. Picture by Chris Fryatt.

Here, we take you through some of the things you might have missed throughout the day on Wearside.

Ladies sign Ede

Sunderland Ladies have completed the signing of midfielder Grace Ede ahead of Sunday’s River Wear derby with Durham Women.

Ede, an England under-17 international, joins Reay’s first-team squad from the club’s regional talent centre for the remainder of the 2021-22 season.

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Ede said: “I’m over the moon to be part of the team and to get started at this level.

“It’s a new challenge for me and I’m really excited to get started and play with the girls.

“We’ve had a good start to the season, so hopefully we can keep moving forward in the league.”

Reay added of her newest recruit: “I’m a big believer that if you’re good enough, you’re old enough.

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"It’s really important, I believe, to give youth a chance and for Grace to learn from the players who have previously taken that pathway will be great for her.

"It's also a message to everyone else in the RTC that I am monitoring them closely and if they’re good enough, they are going to get the opportunity to play.”

Visa problems for former Cats loanee

Former Sunderland loanee Brendan Galloway will miss part of Zimbabwe’s World Cup qualifying campaign due to issues with the defenders’ visa.

The 25-year-old, now with Plymouth Argyle, has been selected by the Warriors to face Ghana this weekend but will now be forced to miss the return match in Harare next week due to what is being described as ‘quarantine requirements’ ahead of his travel back to the UK and Home Park.

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Galloway featured just eight times for the Black Cats when on loan from Premier League side Everton during Simon Grayson’s short reign at the club.

Galloway joined the Pilgrims in the summer following a two year spell with Luton Town.

McLaughlin joins Fleetwood

Former Sunderland defender Conor McLaughlin has found himself a new club after leaving the Stadium of Light this summer.

The Northern Ireland fullback spent two years on Wearside making 50 appearances in all competitions but has now rejoined Fleetwood Town with ex-Cats boss Grayson.

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McLaughlin was part of the first ever Cod Army side to feature in the EFL back in 2012.

“When Fleetwood gave me a call and said that I could come in and get something done, I didn’t have to think about it,” the 30-year-old said.

“It’s a bit strange being back but it’s good to see some familiar faces from when I was here the last time. I’m just looking forward to getting back into the swings of things and playing football again.”

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